Health Canada has released its final decision on neonic insecticides and their potential impact on bees and other pollinators. The department will take several steps to reduce the risk to bees, but neonic seed treatments will not be affected.

Neonic seed treatments seen as safe for bees

Health Canada ruling yet to come on safety for aquatic insects

For years, groups like the David Suzuki Foundation and the Ontario Beekeepers Association have argued that neonicotinoid seed treatments represent a systemic threat to bees. “Health Canada… will be cancelling some uses of these pesticides, and changing other conditions of use such as restricting the timing of application,” a department news release said. “Remaining uses […] Read more

Jack Gray and Rachel Parkinson study locusts in their lab at the University of Saskatchewan.

Canadian neonic, metabolite research shows insecticide effect on insect navigation

Locusts in wind tunnels exposed to neonics lost their ability to move themselves where they wanted

Drunk drivers are more likely to get in an accident because the alcohol in their blood impairs vision and delays reaction time. University of Saskatchewan biologists have identified a comparable phenomenon in locusts, when the insects are exposed to a small dose of insecticide. Why it matters: Farmers require a wide range of pesticides to […] Read more

Sources: European Reference Laboratory; The Pirbright Institute.

Canada imports pork from Poland, despite African swine fever

If the disease appears in Canada, countries could ban imports of Canadian pork and cause billions in economic damage

Canada continues to import pork from Poland, even though it has had hundreds of cases of ASF. For the first 11 months of 2018, Canada imported more than $25 million worth of pork from Poland, based on Agriculture Canada data. Infected meat is the primary vector of ASF, a viral disease that can cause fever, […] Read more

“The president listens. (But) obviously he has a different opinion about the benefits of tariffs, at this point in time.” – Sonny Perdue, U.S. secretary of agriculture

U.S. agriculture secretary agrees with Canada in tariff dispute

Sonny Perdue admits the U.S. President has a different opinion

Canada has a friend in Washington. Sonny Perdue, the United States agriculture secretary, believes the American government should drop tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico as soon as possible. “We recognize from our industry and our sector, it’s in all of our best interests to see that it happens,” said Perdue, who […] Read more

Why won’t consumers listen?

Farmers have been trying to engage consumers for years — yet the work has had little impact

It happens at farm meetings across Canada. Speakers use words like “engagement” and then talk about how farmers can use Twitter and Facebook to influence people. This has been happening for years at agricultural conferences across Canada. Because of all those presentations, thousands of producers now use social media to connect with consumers and explain […] Read more


Saskatchewan soybean growers expect an even deeper acreage drop if India removes its import tariffs on pulse crops, prompting a jump in pea and lentil prices.

Soybean’s prairie party may be waning

A disappointing growing season in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan this summer is expected to cut into 2019 acres

Cinderella’s gown is looking tired and tattered. For about a dozen years, soybeans were the “it” crop in Manitoba as acres went from nothing to more than two million. That Cinderella status is now in doubt as a number of producers have second thoughts about beans. Why it matters: A decline in soybean production on […] Read more

The Government of Canada believes gene edited crops can help farmers produce “safe and affordable food, feed, fibres, and energy in the 21st century.”

Canada joins group supporting gene editing

Twelve countries issued a joint statement in support of the plant breeding process

The federal government has come out in favour of gene editing. Or, more accurately, the Government of Canada believes gene edited crops can help farmers produce “safe and affordable food, feed, fibres, and energy in the 21st century.” The quote comes from a statement released in early November and was delivered during a World Trade […] Read more

Off-target damage from dicamba use in the United States has created a major issue for farmers and for Monsanto, which markets the XTend trait in soybeans. The field above appears unscathed.

Dicamba drift problems continue in farm states

Fewer instances of dicamba drift onto non-target crops are being reported this year in the United States, but it continues to divide agriculture community

Aaron Hager has seen many changes in American agriculture in his 25 years at the University of Illinois. As an extension specialist and weed scientist, he saw the introduction and controversy around genetically modified crops and the emergence of herbicide resistant weeds. But nothing compares to the battle and nastiness over the last 12 months […] Read more


The Canadian Enviro-pig was abandoned after concerns about ability to get it approved.

China develops its own version of Enviro-pig

A researcher who worked on the University of Guelph Enviro-pig now works with Chinese universities

Chinese researchers are moving forward with a transgenic pig similar to the Enviro-pig developed at the University of Guelph. In a paper published May 22, in a biochemistry and chemical biology journal, scientists from South China Agricultural University and China Agricultural University, wrote about transgenic hogs that grow faster and have less impact on the […] Read more